Show Them a Personal Jesus
Dustin Morgan get his first introduction to a personal Jesus at Living Word Christian Fellowship in the book, From Woodstock To Eternity,
Pastor J. R. knows about spiritual things. As the man of God who built Living Word up from the beginning, he has founded the church on preaching a personal Jesus. This is why the members talk to Him instead of about Him. J. R. makes the Bible come alive, regarding it as a manual with answers for life. When he reads out of the Gospels, Jesus seems to jump out of the pages.
When He is healing the sick in the Bible, He is right here to heal your sickness today. When He is casting out demons in the Bible, He is right here to cast them out of you today. At the end of every service, people go forward to receive healings and deliverance. The place is full of joy every Sunday as people share their stories about what Jesus did for them during the week.
What is noteworthy is that Dustin has been raised in church and never thought about Jesus this way. He never experienced the move of the Holy Spirit, his parents did not pray for Jesus to heal him when he was sick. They did not ask Him for help when times got tough. Hence, Jesus was not a personal force in his life.
Three Ways that Showing a Personal Jesus Binds Fathers and Children
- Make the distinction between Religious Obligation vs. Personal Jesus
- Children grow up and leave the church, or like Dustin Morgan, never really get church when it is presented as a religious obligation. That is, go every Sunday because you have to.
- They are much more likely to stay with Jesus when they are raised with Him as a real Spirit that has affected their lives.
2. Teach them along the way Deuteronomy 6:6-9
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
3. Beware that even a Personal Jesus can become a religious tradition
- Spiritual intention to see all of life through God’s eyes becomes a “phylactery”
“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
- Phylacteries are Scriptures Jews put in boxes and wrapped on their foreheads to be “frontlets” between the eyes.
- The danger of all religious obligations and traditions is it gives the false sense of security that you are pleasing God without having to give up your control over your life.